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Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How can I find out if school is back in session?

A: Updates are posted each day to the Work Stoppage Update page. Information about whether or not school is in session the next day will be posted by 5 p.m. so that families can make plans for childcare.

Q: What is the mediation process and how is it helping this situation?

A: Mediation is an informal dispute resolution process. The mediator’s role is to guide the parties (in this case, Longview Public Schools and Longview Education Association (LEA)) toward their own resolution. Through joint sessions and separate caucuses with parties, the mediator helps both sides define the issues clearly, understand each other’s position and move closer to resolution.

A mediator is appointed by the state of Washington and meetings between the two parties needing resolution assistance is dependent on the availability of the mediator. In this situation, with many districts throughout the state requiring mediator services, mediator time with each district may be limited. Longview’s mediation sessions are based on the availability of the mediator.

Q: Why are sporting events still taking place even though classes have been cancelled?

A: There are a few reasons. Coaches work under a different contract than teachers and are not in salary negotiations. Longview Public Schools and LEA mutually agreed that sports activities would continue even in the event of a work stoppage in an effort to help participating students maintain healthy, scheduled activities. Additionally, if a sporting event is cancelled, there is no opportunity to make up this games/match against another school that may not be affected by a work stoppage.

Q: There have been rumors that the district added more administrator positions. Is this true? How many administrative positions were added to Longview Public Schools this year compared to last?

A: No, this is not accurate. Only one administrator position, a director of curriculum, was added this school year. The position directly supports teachers and students by ensuring essential content and skills for each grade level and course are put in place; and that teachers and students receive updated instructional resources that support student learning, and professional development for teachers. Other administrative positions are not new staff but rather reclassification of existing positions.

Q: Why are some school districts giving teachers a bigger pay increase than others?

A: The amount of money that districts have to bargain with is not the same across the board. School districts will not receive the same amount of funding for the same amount of teachers. This means that one district’s ability to provide a salary increase may be dramatically less than another district located right next door. While all school districts are set to receive a standard amount of funding per teacher, some districts are set to receive additional funding based on the new formula set up by the Legislature.  Longview received zero dollars of additional funding, while other districts revenue increased as much as 24 percent.

Q: Where is the money that was allocated to Longview from the McCleary “fix” going?

A: The one-time, $6 million dollars Longview Public Schools received in 2018-19 as a result of the McCleary decision is allocated in the budget as follows. These numbers have been independently verified by the Washington State Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI):

  • Teacher Salaries: $3,043,272
  • Support Staff Salaries (para-educators, bus drivers, food service workers): $1,021,138
  • Staff Benefits: $2,221,763

Q: Why can’t the district just give teachers a raise now and then evaluate future costs later?

A: Longview Public School revenue is projected to increase $6 million in 2018-19, but it is expected to go down by $2 million the following year. Over a third of Washington’s school districts are going to lose 50% or more of their local levy funding due the new school funding system.

Districts are required to plan ahead: the Legislature added a requirement for districts to create a four-year budget plan to help school districts navigate changes brought about by the new McCleary legislation and to ensure sustainability. For months now, districts have been working with the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction and their Educational Service Districts to determine the level of salary increase that they can afford on a long-term basis. Each district must continue to make a thorough examination of what they can afford based on their own unique situation, regardless of agreements being reached in other districts.

* Information obtained from the Washington State School Directors’ Association

2018-08-31T16:39:22+00:00August 31st, 2018|

Career Pathway broadens Career Technical Education reach

Each month, Dr. Zorn reaches out to our business community via the Kelso Longview Chamber of Commerce newsletter with information about the successes and challenges of our public schools.

Over the past several years, Longview Schools have worked to ensure that courses are offered to our students that align effectively with their career aspirations. To this end, we have adopted a Career Pathway model in which students are able to identify course options that will meet their future career preparation needs. As part of these efforts, we are now providing more Career Technical Education (CTE) course offerings to our students. As a result, we have seen our enrollment in CTE course offerings increase by 28 percent over the past three years.

Since 2016 we have upgraded our manufacturing lab and equipment to meet industry standards and acquired a virtual welder to augment the welders already available to our students. Technology and software used in our business programs have been upgraded and our construction trades and technology course was redesigned to more effectively reflect the workforce needs of our community and region. This fall, we are excited about the opportunities our newly developed Pre-Apprenticeship in Building Trades program will provide our district’s students. We are also adding courses in audio productions, culinary arts, and medical science careers. These new offerings augment the more than 25 other courses previously designed to meet our students’ career needs. We have aligned many of our courses with those offered at Lower Columbia College so that career based options can be taken in high school to simultaneously earn high school and college credit.

As we look toward the future, we have plans that include expanded industry certification availability in our CTE programs, further alignment of our pathways and courses to those in Lower Columbia College, and continued work with the local business community to expand our partnerships to include more work-based learning, internship, and pre-apprenticeship opportunities for our students. We recognize the importance of exposing our students to the trades, industries, and businesses within our community. Consequently, we are working hard to help our students who wish to immediately enter the workforce to attain the skills and experiences to do so.

We are proud of the work we have done to better meet the future career needs of our students, particularly those who do not plan to attend a four-year university upon graduation. We also recognize the importance of continuing to improve upon the career options provided our students and are anxious to work with the Kelso/Longview business community to assure that this happens.

2018-08-23T13:44:11+00:00August 23rd, 2018|

Summer training prepares staff for coming year

staff trainingSummer vacation is in full swing, but Longview staff are busy preparing for the coming school year.  Representatives from Broadway Learning Center and Kessler, St. Helens, and Northlake elementaries recently attended a week-long Conscious Discipline class.

Select Longview staff have received Conscious Discipline training since 2015.  This behavior management program focuses on student self-management and creating a ‘school family’ to enable student learning.

The seventeen attendees – a mix of administrators, teachers, and classified staff – were able reinforced strategies to connect with students, create structures, and work with students showing emotional distress.

“This group can’t wait to get started again in August,” said Kessler Elementary principal and class participant Noma Hudson.


2018-07-10T15:28:41+00:00July 10th, 2018|

Graduation: Revel in the beauty that surrounds and seek the joy that can be found

Each month, Dr. Zorn reaches out to our business community via the Kelso Longview Chamber of Commerce newsletter with information about the successes and challenges of our public schools.

Last month, Longview high schools graduated 437 seniors in front of proud family members and friends. It was my honor to address the crowds gathered on Saturday, June 16 at Longview Memorial Stadium for Mark Morris and R. A. Long high schools commencement ceremonies. Exercises for our Discovery High School students were held Tuesday, June 12 at the Columbia Theatre for the Performing Arts. I am incredibly proud of all of our students and staff and would like to share the message that I shared at this year’s graduation ceremonies.

On behalf of the Longview Public Schools, I’d like to welcome each of you to this graduation ceremony.  This is an incredibly important day for our students.  Their high school graduation is their first step into a bright and boundless future.  Thank you for all that each of you have done to support them in this accomplishment.

As I reflect upon the world our students will enter, I would describe it as a place of challenge, discord, beauty, and incredible joy.  I challenge our graduates to enter this world ready to persevere through the challenges, engage respectfully with whom you might disagree, revel in the beauty that surrounds, and seek the joy that can be found.

Beauty and Joy are everywhere but are often veiled by the challenges faced, and the conflict experienced in our daily lives.  Breaking through this veil requires a steadfast commitment to actively seek and purposefully choose to find the beauty and joy of life.

Beauty can be found in the family and friends held dear, in the forests and water that surrounds, in the music heard, in the gardens planted, in the friendships made, or in the art created.

Joy can be found in the skip of a happy child, in the sunlight on our backs, in the sound of the rain on the roof on a cold winter night, in the smile of a friend.  It can be found in the exhaustion that comes from a hard and honest day’s work, in the love of a family, in the books read, in the lessons learned, or in the relationships created.

Through a focus upon persevering through challenges, engaging respectfully, reveling in beauty, and seeking joy, the promise that this world holds can be realized.

I challenge each graduate to remain steadfast in your resolve, apply the lessons you have learned, and remain open to the beauty and joy that surrounds you.  Today, enjoy your celebrations, embrace the love you share, and accept the adulation that comes from the achievement and perseverance that is represented by the high school diploma you have earned.  As you move on, a beautiful and joyful world awaits if you simply step into that world with a willing desire to seek and find the beauty and joy that is abundantly present.

Good luck and please be safe this weekend.  Thank you.


2018-06-25T12:58:49+00:00June 25th, 2018|

Safety is key in our public schools

Each month, Dr. Zorn reaches out to our business community via the Kelso Longview Chamber of Commerce newsletter with information about the successes and challenges of our public schools.

Longview Schools have a tradition of working each day to ensure the safety of our students and staff members and the security of our public buildings.

While we know that no action or plan is perfect, we continue to maintain current systems and develop additional measures and enhancements to control what we can.

At least once a month, our students practice an emergency response falling into three categories:

  • Shelter-in-place to respond to something such as a nearby chemical release;
  • Lockdown to respond to an active threat of violence.
  • Evacuation to move students away from a hazard such as fire or flooding.

In addition, our schools—along with others in the county and across the nation—have adopted the ALICE response to threats of violence. ALICE is a way to remember the essential actions that are possible when faced by a violent threat. It stands for Alert (let others nearby know what is happening), Lockdown (lock and barricade the entrance), Inform (call 911), Counter (confuse the threat with chaos and distractions), and Evacuate. These actions need not be taken in any particular order.

Furthermore, our schools cultivate a climate of trust and empower students and staff members to speak up if they have a concern or see something that makes them suspicious.  We work on creating schools where everyone treats others with respect.

We continually explore ways to update our actions and systems. Schools have reduced the number of entry points into each building, all schools have cameras and monitors at the front door entrances, classroom doors can now be easily locked from inside the classroom, and shrubbery has been trimmed to assure sightlines into our schools.  We are focused on continuing improvements to our facilities that will protect the safety and security of our students and staff.

The unsuccessful November 2017 building bond included $2.75 million for safety and security improvements including security cameras, door locks, emergency radios, and lighting.

In February, voters approved a local Replacement Capital Projects Levy–a portion of which can be used for safety and security upgrades.

As the Board of Directors drafts a 2019 bond, security improvements will be once again be considered. We would love to hear from a variety of voices as the bond request is being formulated and as we allocate local Capital Projects dollars to matters of safety and security.

Toward that end we are asking folks to take a few moments to share their perspectives in an on-line “conversation.”  Comments are taken as part of our Thoughtexchange process which can be accessed 24/7 between June 4 and June 14. In addition to providing comments, participants can review and react to others’ ideas. Based on this participation, the major issues brought forward will rise to the top.

Access Thoughtexchange here.

The information gathered in this Thoughtexchange will help the district as it constantly works to keep students and staff members safe and to best respond when school safety is threatened.

2018-06-22T14:34:24+00:00June 22nd, 2018|

Bill Antilla: international business leader

The schools and community of Longview, Washington have long supported the development of outstanding individuals whose contributions have enriched the city, state, nation, and world.  We would like to take some time to highlight some of these notable individuals and the nurturing community from which they came. These bright spots in the Longview community exemplify the values that the Longview School District aims to instill in all of its students and serve as beacons of integrity, passion, and brilliance. Here, we introduce the next of many notable Longview Luminaries.

Bill AntillaBill Antilla credits his Longview upbringing for being instrumental in his successful career.

“There was a sense that ‘I can be somebody and make a difference,’” he recalled.

“Maybe it’s that underdog concept that we didn’t come from Mercer Island or Bainbridge Island or Lake Oswego, but we can compete head to head, because we can outwork them, we have more drive, we have more determination—and when they sleep we’ll work. That kind of grit mindset came through,” said the Mark Morris High School Class of 1984 alumnus.

Last year his work—as president and general manager of Crown Iron Works—included 260,000 miles of air travel. The company has plants in 80 countries and offices all over the world, and Antilla is responsible for everything—from the balance sheet to innovation to sales to hiring.

Based in Minnesota, Crown designs plants for companies like Cargill and Archer Daniels Midland, which process canola, soybeans and sunflower seeds, and refine vegetable oil and biodiesel fuel.

“Two thirds of the oilseeds in the world go through Crown Iron Works equipment,” Antilla said.

After graduating from Mark Morris, Antilla earned an English major at Carleton College in Minnesota and started working at Cargill, where he spent 25 years. He also earned an MBA in finance. Three years ago, he took the post at Crown Iron Works.

Asked what his high school-era self would make of the career he found, Antilla thought for a while. Then he said three things have always been a priority for him: enjoying what he’s doing, enjoying the people he’s working with and being challenged to learn new things.

“There were some tough times, but for the most part, on average, I’ve stayed true to those values,” he reflected. “My Mark Morris self would be proud that I stayed true to my self of all those years ago—what I stood for as an idealistic kid.”

Now Antilla inspires the next generation by mentoring high school students in his Minnesota community. He is especially interested in giving underdog students a boost.

“With the right attitude, you can take a risk, and then you build the confidence that you can do great things,” he said.


Bill Antilla’s advice to this year’s graduates: “Embrace the unknown, go someplace new, do something different, and do what you love. It sounds like a cliché, but the people that I’ve seen that have grown the most are the ones who took a risk, embraced the unknown, experienced something different. You have a better idea of what’s going on in the world when you do that. And if you do what you love, it makes a difference. It makes it easier to get out of bed Monday morning.”

2018-08-23T09:52:19+00:00June 19th, 2018|

Longview celebrates graduating seniors

Longview graduates from Mark Morris and R. A. Long high schools launched into the next phase of their lives under picture-perfect skies Saturday, June 16. Discovery High School graduates celebrated commencement earlier in the week in the historic Columbia Theatre for the Performing Arts.

The graduates represented state-winning musicians, artists, entrepreneurs, and athletes.

A total of 437 students graduated in June after spending more than 29,000 hours serving their community in addition to toiling over their studies. More than half of the students plan to attend  college while 18 are headed to trade school, 17 into the military and more than 50 directly into the workforce.

2018-07-10T15:35:59+00:00June 18th, 2018|

Summer 2018 meal program

picnicMeals for Longview kids ages 18 and younger are available at no charge at these locations and times:

  • Northlake Elem, 2210 Olympia Way
    June 18 – August 17 (no meals July 2-6); Monday – Friday
    Breakfast 8:30 – 8:45am, Lunch 12:00 – 12:15pm
  • Kessler Elem, 1902 Kessler Blvd
    June 18 – August 17 (no meals July 4); Monday – Friday
    Breakfast 8:30 – 8:45am, Lunch 12:00 – 12:15pm
  • CVG Elem, 2644 30th Ave
    July 9 – July 27; Monday – Friday
    Breakfast 8:30 – 8:45am, Lunch 12:00 – 12:15pm Cancelled
  • Olympic Elem, 1324 30th Ave
    July 9 – July 27; Monday – Friday
    Breakfast 8:30 – 8:45am Lunch 12:00 – 12:15pm
    Aug 7 – Aug 16; Tuesday – Thursday
    Breakfast 8:30 – 8:45am Lunch 11:00 – 11:15pm
  • St Helens Elem, 431 27th Ave
    July 9 – July 27; Monday – Friday
    Breakfast 8:30 – 8:45am, Lunch 12:00 – 12:15pm
  • Monticello Middle School, 1225 28th Ave
    July 9 – July 27; Monday – Friday
    Lunch 12:00 – 12:15pm
  • Archie Anderson Park, 22nd Ave and Alabama St
    July 9 – Aug 16; Monday – Thursday
    Lunch 12:00 – 12:15pm, Snack 3:00 – 3:15pm
  • Longview Teen Center, 2121 Kessler Blvd
    June 18 – Aug 17 (no meals July 2-6); Monday – Friday
    Snack 3:00 – 3:15

Supervised activities will be offered at Northlake, Kessler, Monticello, Teen Center, and Archie Anderson Park through Longview Parks and Rec.

The summer food service program is sponsored by US Department of Agriculture. For more information about the program, or to volunteer call Longview School District Nutrition at 360.575.7172.

2018-08-23T07:25:00+00:00June 18th, 2018|

NASA summer camps offer great opportunity for high school students

Cowlitz County high school students, including incoming freshmen and just-graduated seniors, are invited to experience “Terra Trackers” and “Rockets and Space”. These week-long summer camps at R.A. Long High School will allow students to work with electronics, robotics, and rocketry. There is no charge to attend.

“Terra Trackers”: July 16 – 19.  Read more about the camp, and complete the application.  Completed applications may be returned to the ASB office at R.A. Long, or scanned and emailed to Hanna Burleson.  Applications due July 15.

“Rockets and Space” is July 30-August 2.  Read more about the camp, and complete the application. Completed applications may be returned to R.A. Long Main Office, or scanned and emailed to Hanna Burleson. Applications due July 27.


2018-07-26T14:23:15+00:00June 18th, 2018|

Star Polisher – Alex Weiss

Weiss with studentsWho would you like to thank for being a star polisher?

“Mr. Weiss,” writes Preston, Emma, and Aalyssa  who are seventh graders at Monticello Middle School.

How did this person make a difference in your life?

Aalyssa says, “He is a good teacher; he is also really funny.”

Preston says, “He is really understanding with how I can get hyper at the end of the day, and he keeps me going. ”

“He has helped me figure out what college I want to go to and has helped me in many other ways. He is also a very nice teacher and accepts my goals,” adds Emma.

As part of our district’s focus on student connectedness, we shared part of a poem called “The Star Polisher” with our middle school students and invited them to consider how Longview Public Schools staff have made a difference to them. Read about more of our stars and star polishers here.

2018-07-17T14:39:22+00:00June 15th, 2018|
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